FIFA referee instructor Tevita Vea has been in Rarotonga conducting a FIFA Member Association referee’s training course to local Football referees over the last week. The course is to teach, explain and clarify all the new Football laws of the game, the modified laws of the game and any current laws of the game that need some clarification by the participants.
CIFA Referees development officer, Maara Kaukura, stated on the opening day of the course that he hopes that the participants of the course will learn as much as they can from Tevita to further their knowledge of the game. “Through these FIFA referee’s courses, it is our goal to have a referee with enough qualifications and knowledge of the game to officiate FIFA tournaments such as a World Cup. So far during this 2019-2022 Period we only have one match official officiating at a level higher than our MA level. That person being John Pareanga who can currently officiate at Confederation (OFC) level as an assistant referee.”
Adding to this Kaukura stated that “not only is it our goal to have at least one official officiating at FIFA level but to have multiple referee’s officiating at OFC level as well.”
Inspiring participants, Vea shared some of his experiences with the attending referee’s, such as how some of his fellow Tongan officials have been asked to officiate games in the Asia football Confederation as well as FIFA run competitions. “Im very impressed with the potential the Cook Island participants have. They have been very engaging, they are young and have many years ahead of them to grow as referee’s and to be asked to officiate Confederation and FIFA tournaments. I hope more people see the many opportunities of being a referee has to offer and perhaps consider taking the challenge of being a referee.”
Vea also added that being in the pacific, referees have better opportunities than players. “As a footballer in the pacific, it’s much harder to get contracts and to earn money. Whereas if you are a referee you are given that chance almost right away when you begin to officiate your local season games. And if you strive to be a better official and try to become better you get bigger and better opportunities such as world cups. My last message to referee’s is that the future is now.”
CIFA president Lee Harmon and general secretary Mii Piri attended the opening ceremony on Monday to officially open the course. The course wrapped up with a closing ceremony on the 13th June.